I started the product in hopes of losing weight and ended up being more hungry and gaining weight. I'm hypoglycemic and sensitive to sugar and dairy. I was reassured by their doctor that the whey protein was a good way to go despite my health issue. I would check with your doctor, if you have any issues. I can only speak of my own experiences, of course. I have a disability and I can't do cardio or lift weights. Well...if you can't exercise, whey i.e. dairy turns into sugar which turns into fat. I was left more hungry and with more weight than when I started. Lean proteins like eggs, fish, chicken and vegetables are a far better way to go. I even added greens to the shakes and started using one scoop only and adding a non-dairy liquid to get other kinds of protein and I was still left feeling hungry. If you choose to use whey, you can probably get it for less money at a store. Either is a far better option than being tied to an expensive, ineffective product that is nothing more than a pyramid scheme.
Great meal replacement shake
Excellent ingredients, the vanilla flavor tastes good (add a banana to improve the flavor if you need to!) and the shake keeps hunger away. Isagenix shakes can be purchased from a representative (you most likely know someone or someone you know does) or you can purchase online from Isagenix directly, or you can also buy from some other sizes like amazon.com. Be careful who you buy from, and make sure you check their seller ratings. They make other products like meal bars, snacks and cleanses. I only use the shakes, as a meal replacement, and I really like them. The shakes use excellent ingredients, plant based nutrition and dairy proteins. They use mainly whey proteins, plus sunflower and olive oils, and other fruits, vegetables, fibers, and vitamins and minerals. They list all ingredients, and they do not use high fructose corn syrup. Supposedly, they are GMO free.
Best Protein Shake on the Market!
I purchased the Isagenix IsaLean Shakes (along with several other products) out of pure desperation. I have tried EVERYTHING for weight loss and nothing worked. I was nearly to the point of thinking I would need surgery to help me lose the weight. I would exercise 5 days a week, doing cardio for 60 minutes and weight training to build muscle. I knew I wouldn't lose weight right away because I would gain muscle mass - but nothing changed. My pants fit the same. My measurements stayed the same. I gained more weight. I was eating healthier than ever before. My doctor told me than maybe I was working out too strenuously - that more fat is burned when you work out (cardio) at a moderate level than at an intense level. So I started exercising less intensely. No change. I started swimming. No change. My appetite isn't the problem - certain medications I take make me less hungry, so many times I had to force myself to eat something to keep my metabolism up.
Then, I added the Isagenix products to my routine and everything changed. I have lost 25 lbs and continue to lose. The IsaLean shakes are probably my favorite - they take some getting used to, and you will need to learn how to prepare them in a way that tastes good to you - but they do work. I drink one shake at breakfast time (usually 7-8am) and it keeps me full until about 12:30-1pm. Then, I have a balanced lunch - sometimes I do splurge and eat something that isn't the best, but we all need to do that sometimes! And for dinner I have another shake. I also have a mid-morning snack, an after-noon snack and an evening snack (I try to have the enevening snack at least 3 hr before bed-time, otherwise I skip it). I do the cleanse days as well, but I'm still getting used to those. Maybe in time I will be able to complete a cleanse day without cheating! Anyway, here's my journey...
**The Introduction and First Impression**
A friend of mine does the entire Isagenix system and introduced me to the products. She has lost about 60 lbs by just using the products and she even admitted to me that she only recently started following the regimen more strictly. She told me that in the beginning, she would use the shakes and have one for breakfast and one for supper but the rest of the day she would eat pretty much whatever she wanted - and she still lost weight. She also never did cleanse days at all. When I heard that, I was a little skeptical. I am hypothyroid (google it if you don't know what it is) so my metabolism doesn't work like it should. I do take medication (Synthroid) for it, and I've been on the meds for a long time, but everytime I go in to have my thyroid levels checked, my dose has to be adjusted - so my hypothyroidism isn't well controlled which makes it difficult for me to lose weight, no matter how hard I try. But I was desperate, and purchased the products anyway.
My first impression was AWFUL. I bought the IsaLean shake in Natural Creamy Chocolate, the powdered Cleanse For Life, and the Natural Accelerator. The only product I liked was the Natural Accelerator. To me, the shake tasted horrible and it was thick and without the slightest hint of sweetness - I'm not a dark chocolate person, and the shake tasted like the darkest chocolate I'd ever tried. And if you didn't drink it fast, it got warm which made it taste even WORSE. The cleanse was worse than the shake - it was overpowering and strong and it had this weird quality to it that was hard to explain - it reminded me of very dry champagne, like it was drying out my throat and mouth when I drank it. And it was powder, and the powder didn't mix up or dissolve well - leaving chunks in the bottom of my glass. It was horrible.
The Natural Accelerator seemed to work, though. After taking it for about a week, I was able to exercise longer and had more energy than before. I had no weird side-effects from it either. It's still one of my main staples.
My first mistake was that I mixed the shake "wrong". On the package, it just says to mix 2 scoops with 8oz of cold, purified water. Very easy, very generic. However, that's not the best way - according to my friend. The best way is to use a blender and throw in some ice - even better is to add some peanut butter and some stevia (or other no-cal sweetener). This way, it's not so thick and tastes like a peanut-butter cup milkshake. The ice also keeps it colder, longer. She was right - the shakes taste MUCH better this way. They're kind of bland tasting for a reason - so you are able to add things to the mix for more nutrients and variation. I've since realized that I like the Natural Creamy Vanilla flavor much better - I like to add ice, 1/3 banana, 4 small strawberries, and 1/4 cup light, non-fat vanilla yogurt - it makes a fantastic smoothie. So, if you've tried this product and don't like the taste, try using a blender and ice first before giving up. There are also great recipes out there for the shakes as well - another good one is adding banana, a graham cracker, and ice to the vanilla shake mix for a banana pie shake. The options are endless!
My second mistake was buying the powder cleanse. My friend suggested it, because she thinks it tastes better than the liquid. However, I beg to differ. To me, the liquid is much less strong and abrasive and it lacks that drying quality I described earlier. It is also liquid, so there are no chunks that fail to dissolve. Cleanse days are still very difficult for me but at least I like to drink the Cleanse For Life now - before, I failed horribly on cleanse days because I couldn't stand to drink the stuff. By the end of the day, I was gagging on it. Now, I like to drink it - my only problem is being tempted by the other food in the house!
Today, I'm actually lost if I don't have my shakes. My brand-new, expensive blender broke about a week ago so I had to order a new one. I managed to jerry-rig the old blender and it worked for a couple more days before it broke again. I was unable to have my shakes for about 3 days. I tried to go back to drinking the Carnation Instant Breakfast stuff that I used to drink, but it just didn't taste right to me. It was kind of disgusting, actually.
I've also become a fan of several other Isagenix products - I LOVE the SlimCakes. They do look kind of gross - they look like a very healthy oatmeal cookie - but they're fantastic! I normally don't like raisins or berries baked into cookies, but I do love these - and they're only 90 calories. I've tried replicating them, and it's almost impossible. The IsaLean bars are also great - especially when you're out and about, can't have a shake and don't want to end up eating fast food. Unlike other protein bars, they really fill me up. They also taste great and don't have a TON of sugar like other brands. They taste like a candy bar - which is great, because if you're craving a candy bar, you could just cut the IsaLean bar in half and eat it instead. The Want More Energy? is also a great product - it reminds me of Crystal Light or Gatorade - but with more nutrients. You can even have it on cleanse days and it tastes great.
I still continue to lose weight - and lately, I haven't had the time to exercise much. As long as you do your best to follow the program, I think anyone could lose weight. Cleanse days are really difficult and they're not completely necessary to lose weight - though you do lose weight much faster. I've only truly done 3 cleanse days since I started in February 2011 (it is now April 2011) and I've still lost weight. I completed my 3rd cleanse day yesterday and lost 5 more lbs - it was much more successful than the last 2, but I did cheat by eating some steamed broccoli! (The last one before I cheated with pizza - big difference!).
I think the biggest thing you can do is communicate with the person who introduced you to Isagenix. You need to understand the schedules - cleanse days and shake days - and know what you should and shouldn't do. It's also important to realize that no one is perfect and it's fine to eat ice cream or a snickers bar every once and awhile. The important thing is to try your hardest to be healthy and stick with the system.
I think the biggest "con" with Isagenix is the price. Their products are expensive - especially for someone with limited income or on a budget. Believe me, I know. I'm a full-time nursing student and my husband works full-time. We live on one income. The only way I'm able to afford my Isagenix is that my friend purchases it at a discount for me. I also save money and make sacrifices. Sometimes, I can only afford to purchase the IsaLean Shakes and that's it. When I have some extra money, I will stock up on certain products I wouldn't be able to afford otherwise. I have been told that you can sign up as an associate to receive wholesale pricing on the products, so that can help out. I'm not the kind of person who would spend money on something like this, unless I truly felt it worked. I feel healthier and I can see an improvement. I have more energy and I get sick less often. Not to mention the weight loss and change in clothing size!
I recommend these products to everyone, if they can work for me, they can work for you.